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On Wednesday night the V&A’s prestigious Raphael Gallery played host to Duel, this year’s much awaited London College of Fashion MA catwalk event.

Showcasing graduates’ work across design & technology and digital fashion the evening was a fash-packed hotbed for new talent, which meant industry experts and stars alike were out in force to show their support.

Squeezed in alongside influential editors and buyers front row guests included a retro looking Marina from Marina and the Diamonds, faithful attendee Jo Wood, handbag designer Lulu Guinness and – as big haired as ever – the unmissable Jodie Harsh. Also spotted amongst the front row celebs was future style-star in the making, ex All Saint Mel Blatt’s super stylish daughter – loving the glasses girl!

Womenswear highlights of the night included Jo Power‘s stunningly simple dresses in a select palette of black and white with the occasional flash of red. Defined by clean lines and modern silhouettes, it’s no surprise that such a desirable offering was shortlisted for collection of the year.

Jennifer Morris‘s colourful looks saw fringing details give movement to already vibrant pieces. Jewel-like tones of amethyst and topaz were offset against citrus brights for a collection that was not only wearable but was made even more appealing by its on-trend credentials.

Other favourites included Tim Ryhs Evans‘s cohort of sombre looking beauties where the focus was on exaggerated necklines and one surprisingly chic sheer head covering. Susana Bettencourt combined knitwear and hard-wear for a contemporary take on Eygyptian armour, while Dinu Bodiciu‘s big-shouldered mohair designs and statement head pieces created a thoroughly modern silhouette.

The recipient of the prestigious Collection of the Year award – presented by none other than Harold Tillman CBE – was Italian born menswear graduate Matteo Molinari. His highly desirable collection combined premium tailoring with traditional techniques. Drawing inspiration from his family’s trade, hand crafted crocheted panels were combined with classic menswear for a luxury yet hugely personal collection.

Yet another impressive showcase of the future stars of design from the London College of Fashion – and following last night’s exciting performances, we’ve definitely got our eyes on a few of them.

[Images: Alex Maguire]

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